Sunday, October 22, 2017

#metoo


In light of the Hollywood/Harvey Weinstein insanity, so many women are stepping forward to bring awareness of how bad sexual harassment/assault is in the workplace. I wanted to share my stories here, since I really don't have a platform and else.

It has happened to me three times that I can remember. I consider myself an average-looking person, easily forgotten, a social wallflower, nothing about me that just screams 'cute', 'flirty', or 'I-need-to-hit-that able'. This statement isn't to make people think I'm looking for a pity party or a desire for compliments. That point was to point out how bad this harassment is, and how I could only imagine how it gets so much worse for others.

One happened while I worked at a rock climbing gym. I had worked at this gym several years prior, with my dad, and under different ownership. I went back for a little bit of extra money, and hopefully get some exercise in a form that I enjoyed again. When my boyfriend of the time had gone out of the country for 3 weeks for some college experience, one of the new owners of the gym asked if I was going to 'step out' on the boyfriend. When I point-blank said no, he continued to ask questions, like, 'how can you hold out for that long?' He didn't stop there. I remember meetings when he'd sit on the arm of a couch right next to me, when so many options were available. I remember it was not long after that he dismissed me from the gym, but in truth, I was going to leave anyways. I never even picked up my last paycheck from there because I didn't want to deal with that man.

Another happened when I worked in retail. During the holidays, we'd have police officers walk with the bookkeepers while we gathered the till. One of the regulars was an older officer, probably not far from retirement age, and his wife was one of my coworkers. I enjoyed talking to him. He was lively and friendly, and a gentleman. Or so I thought. One time, while his wife was out of town, he invited me to his house to 'hang out' in the hot tub. Even though I was naive, I was appalled that he would dare invite a female over to his home when his wife was out of town. If I had been more gullible and something had happened, it would have been my word against his. That's a frightening thought.

The last one was the most bizarre. When I worked at a vet (apparently I have had a lot of jobs), I had a co-worker that found joy in running HER finger up my butt crack (over my scrubs, which most know has no thickness). Anytime she walked by me, she'd do it. She loved my reaction, but obviously didn't care about the discomfort she caused me. It got to the point that whenever I saw her, I'd back myself into the wall to wait for her to leave. I never said anything to 'spare her the embarrassment', but it was so uncomfortable.

Now, as a mother, I would encourage my daughter to stand up for herself if she was ever in a situation like these. Call the people out. Embarrass them if needed. But as a woman, she, nor anyone else, should have to face such discomfort in any environment. Do not think that you are only worthy if you are a sexual object. Do not feel that the other person's self-worth is more important than your own.

I hope that this will no longer be a fight we have to take on when my daughter is old enough to understand what #metoo means.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Ninjago With A Special Guest

Image result for lego ninjago movie

So we took B to go see Ninjago, The LEGO movie a couple of weeks ago, and by we, I mean Cary, myself, my dad, and...my grandfather.

Odd combination, right?

At the last minute, my mom decided she wanted to stay home and rest (work has been a real beating for at least 3 out of 4 of us lately), but my dad mentioned that my Grandpa J wanted to join us.

Of course, I was completely baffled. Why would an 80-something-year-old man want to see a LEGO movie?

Who am I to judge, right? But of course, I had to ask. So when we get to the theater, it's one of the first things I ask.

Me: You know what we're seeing, right?
G: It's the LEGO movie, right?
Me: Yes, sir.
G: That's fine with me. It's better than staying home alone on a Friday night.
Me: (shrugs) Well...good luck...

I love this particular movie theater mostly because you have reserved seats and can recline the nice, leather (faux leather?) and really get comfortable. But because we purchased the tickets so late, it meant that C and I had to sit one row above my dad, grandfather, and B. But, no one was going to do any talking, so I guess it really didn't matter anyways. I mean, we got to recline!

After the movie, I couldn't wait to see my grandfather again to ask him what he thought. If you've seen any of the LEGO movies, you know they are a bit bizarre. And I don't think Grandpa expected it to be anything like it was.

He had the most baffled look on his face. He shook his head and said, "I don't know what I just saw". We got a big laugh out of it, and he looked as though he found the whole thing to be funny...and I'm sure he now knows why I was so curious as to why he chose to see this movie with us out of all that are available.

But B loved seeing him, sitting next to him in the theater, and just spending time with him. I hope he felt the same about her. It was rare for us growing up to see my grandfather that often, not because of anything more than busy lives and distance. But words can't exactly describe what it meant to me to get that little bit of time with him, and to now have this amazing, funny memory.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Fisheroni



Let me tell you about this fish.

Four years ago (maybe it was 3, but that doesn't seem right, either), just after we moved back from Maine, Cary had the urge to get a pet fish. So, we went to a local pet store and bought the bowl, rocks, food, and a Beta. We named him David Schwimmer.

B's daycare was having their end-of-summer carnival the week after we got Schwimmer, and when I picked her up that afternoon, B was so excited. She wanted to show me her pet fish, and ran over to grab a plastic sandwich bag. Already the poor fish had such little water to swim around in, but even more so, she was pinching the bag to try to stop the poor fish from moving around. I could tell that he was already traumatized, and I don't blame him. He was millimeters away from being squished to death by a 3 or 4 year old...try explaining that to her if it happened. So, immediately, I took the poor fish away and texted Cary to go back to the petstore and get another tank.

I was amazed that Fisheroni not only survived, but he has thrived. 3 (4?) years later, he's beautiful and big. His tail is amazingly big, and the best part, he's not as afraid of us when we go to feed him and even socializes a little (until he gets his food. Then we are nothing to him). Unfortunately after losing Chester earlier this year, he is our only pet, and I'm shocked that he still looks so good when I've heard that fish typically don't live too long.

It's my goal to get him to such an age that we have to give him a small cane to help him get around.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I Can See What The Future Holds, And It Looks So Familiar

On Sunday, b had a playdate. I didn't take any pictures to make it 'official', but I really feel like I need to write it down because it left a very odd feeling for me.

It was a first for me as a mom, and it's sad to say that it will only get worse from here.

So the little girl b had the playdate with has left me with many mixed emotions from the beginning. In the beginning, b spoke about 'A' in a wonderful way, but with time, that excitement has died down, and even has left me questioning why B sticks around. Then again, she is only 7 and still has so much to learn.

''A' doesn't believe in God.' Okay. We can work with this. As a Christian, it's not a requirement to have only Christian friends. She already has some, and maybe 'A' will see something in B and want to join her for church one day.

''A' is bossy to me.' Again, this can be worked through, and maybe B can learn from it. I find myself always asking her if maybe she could be acting bossy herself.

But when you are listening to her prayer at night and she says the words 'help me to not be friends with 'A' anymore', which actually happened on the same day she got the invite to the playdate, you wonder what's happening.

I decided on the playdate because I was very curious about this little girl and her family to see what lessons I could help b learn in this. So we decided to meet up at a local monkey-gym on Sunday after church (and after some form of quiet time so I could mentally prepare)

Instantly, I loved 'A's' stepmom. She was sweet, talkative (but not to the extent that she only talked about herself), and I found out they attend a church we used to attend. But 'A' was a different story. At the door while they checked in, B waited patiently and I watched as 'A' made faces. No big deal. 7 years old, remember? But once they were cleared to go in, 'A' walked right past B... And ignoring her.

I watched as the joy drained from B's face.

There is nothing more devastating than watching your always happy child wonder what they did wrong to deserve that treatment.

The worst part is, it's only just beginning. I remember all too well how my friends in middle school were just that witchy. How joining them to go to the bathroom (because girls always went in groups, remember?) was met with a snide 'we don't need a babysitter'. How one day the 'leader' decided we shouldn't talk to the brainy one of our foursome, and I went along with it. Not because I was a mean girl, but because I thought the leader would do the same to me if I didn't, which, of course, did. But things never were the same again in our foursome, the brainy one smart enough to realize we weren't real friends. I was the next to discover that, unfortunately though, not until a year or two later after becoming her target of many 'pranks'.

I still don't know what to think about 'A'. Trying to see the good in everything, I am trying to rationalize it with everything going on in her life. Divorced parents, new baby coming, two older strep-siblings. Non of which are bad, but everyone handles things differently. Or maybe 'A' is just a spoiled child that will never change, and become the same kind of person my 'bff' was.

And all I can do is stand back and let B make the decisions. I can guide her and hope she'll do what is best for her, but I don't know if I even know what that is.

I'm so grateful for our church and the families that are a part of it. I pray that B will find her true friends through there, and similar places. I know God has something amazing for her, and I have to know that friends like 'A' and mine will only help shape her into what she's meant to be. It is just so hard watching her getting knocked down.

It took an hour for 'A' to try to find B during that playdate, during which time, B had already come to me, ready to go home.

Everyday I tell b to go make friends with someone she sees us lonely. Maybe one day she'll be the one that makes someone's middle school experience better than mine was.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Just A Simple Picture...



That makes me laugh every time I look at it